Wild horses leaping to their deaths rather than be captured and tamed. Thelma and Louise deciding it’s better to tromp on the pedal and drive off a Grand Canyon cliff rather than trim their sails. Kathleen pulling a gun and firing at approaching police, knowing they’ll send she and Johnny McQueen to eternity. The aging Wild Bunch deciding to shoot it out with Mexican troops who outnumber them 20 to 1, figuring it’s better to exit guns blazing than wither on the vine.

Kathleen Ryan, James Mason at the finale of Odd Man Out.

I don’t think Armageddon‘s Bruce Willis deciding to stay on the asteroid and sacrifice himself in order to save the world from destruction is the same kind of thing.

I’m asking myself two questions. I’m trying to get my wheels moving on this thing. One, has the culture evolved to a place in which opting for defiant death is not seen as some kind of honorable romantic gesture? Is “it’s better to burn out that fade away” a petered-out philosophy ? And if not, what major characters, if any, have opted to stamp their own ticket at the end of a film or a miniseries rather than surrender?